Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
France celebrates Bastille Day. This year’s military parade, which marks the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into WWI, will be lead by US troops for the first time. US president Donald Trump’s attendance follows an amiable meeting with French president Emmanuel Macron in Paris, where Trump hinted at a possible renegotiation of the Paris climate accord.
China takes a bird’s eye view of its financial system. Chinese leaders convene in Beijing for The National Financial Work Conference, held every five years, to consider ways to improve the country’s complex financial system. On the agenda this year: handing regulation responsibilities over to China’s central bank.
The US reviews June economic activity. The commerce department releases June retail sales data—the struggling sector (paywall) is expected to grow only 0.1% after a 0.3% drop in May— while consumer-price index and industrial production figures are expected to remain stable.
While you were sleeping
Uber merged lanes with the “Russian Google.” On the heels of last year’s exit from China, Uber announced that it will combine its Russian operations with tech company and search engine Yandex, investing $225 million for a 36% stake in a yet-to-be-named venture valued at $3.7 billion. Uber has already spent spent $170 million trying to integrate into the Russian market. Yandex’s stock rose 16% on the news.
China’s most famous political dissident died in prison. Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo was widely known for his leading role in the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and his lifelong pursuit of human rights in China. He died of liver cancer at age 61 while serving his fourth imprisonment.
Senate Republicans revealed their new health care bill. Version two of the bill, which seeks to replace Obama’s Affordable Care Act, included a controversial amendment by Texas senator Ted Cruz that would allow US insurers to offer cheaper policies with fewer benefits. It appears already imperiled as two senators announced they were unswayed and a third defection would doom the bill.
The Trump Administration prepared new sanctions on China. US officials said the White House could impose sanctions on small Chinese banks, shell companies, and other “low-hanging fruit” within two weeks, in retaliation for China’s failure to rein in North Korea.
Target hit the bullseye. The discount retailer’s latest forecast, which sees increased sales for the first time in five quarters due to improved customer traffic, pushed shares 4.4% and lifted retail stocks. Facing heat from Amazon, traditional retailers like Target and Walmart have embraced convenience services, like curb-side delivery and online retail.
Quartz obsession interlude
Oliver Staley on “chiefiness” taking over the corporate world. “As the proliferation of chiefs spreads, the title has become less a position of authority, and more a reflection of a company’s current culture. To stress its pizzas are made with fresh ingredients, Papa John’s promoted a senior vice president to chief ingredient officer. Mars, the candy and food company, is making a push toward sustainability, so it named a chief agricultural officer.” Read more.
The pollyanna / Street. It finds only good news / Amid all the chaos
Matters of debate
Universal basic income is bad for everyone except billionaires. It’ll help Silicon Valley sleep better, while compounding social inequality.
Nobody really believes in free market health care. If they did, they’d be willing to forego saving some patients (paywall).
There’s a right and wrong kind of popularity. Likability, not status, is a more meaningful trait for people to pursue.
Our perception of time is warped by the number of important events we remember. That’s why the Trump presidency already feels like a lifetime.
A Chicago library is seeking a witch translator. Volunteers are needed to help make sense of a mysterious 17th century book of charms.
Some narcoleptics hallucinate their own death. A lesser-known aspect of the sleep disorder prevents sufferers from distinguishing dreams and reality.
People miss almost 10% of their faces when they apply sunscreen. UV photos reveal that they’re especially lax around their eyes.
A Google search helped the SEC nab an insider trader. He was allegedly looking for tips on “how sec detect unusual trade.”
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